before & after: kitchen nook window seat

I love window seats! Not enough homes come with built-in window seats, and I don’t think I’ve ever lived in an apartment that had one :( It’s cool to see such a substantial window seat, with built-in storage no less, all done DIY style for relatively low cost and time. Ryan crafted the drawers out of Ikea parts, then built the rest with lumber; meanwhile, the cushions were sent out for professional upholstering. His efforts really paid off — this little nook is so welcoming, cozy and useful for stowing away items, but it still allows the room to feel airy and spacious. Nice work, Ryan! — Kate

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Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 3 months (working on weekends)

Cost: $1200 (including materials, upholstery costs, wood, trim, paint, handles, and the mechanics for the drawers)

Basic Steps: Here are the steps we took to build this monster:

1. Build a sturdy base out of 2 x 4s to ensure durability and weight.

2. Build a box to use IKEA drawers for extra storage.

3. Secure a heavy-duty seat base out of MDF (the whole thing is mostly MDF).

4. Install drawers to ensure proper fit and finish.

5. Add side compartments for additional storage and a place to lean on, as well as a place to put decorative items. We also installed a plug in these boxes so we could place lamps or a radio on top.

6. Add trim work and wood fill and joints/nail holes.

7. Paint and add handles.

8. Have cushions upholstered. Thanks to Charlene at “The Big Stuff” in Toronto for doing an amazing job on the cushions.

My advice is: measure twice, cut once. Dry fit, dry fit, dry fit before you even touch a screw or nail gun. Learn to mitre cut. Trim makes all the difference, and without perfect mitres, it will look like a DIY instead of a high-end finish. — Ryan

  1. casey says:

    This is so great!

  2. Courtney says:

    Wow, this is really beautiful. Window seats are my favorite, but sadly I’ve never lived with one either. I’m now more determined than ever to have one in the future house.

  3. Andy Lacey says:

    Really good use of the space. Love the symmetry and the neutral palette. Looks like a calming place to sit :-)

  4. Katherine says:

    So So gorgeous! I can’t believe it was only $200 and it looks so professionally done. What Ikea drawers were used? did you disassemble a dresser, or do they sell drawers piecemeal and I never knew it?

    Makes me wish I had space to do some woodworking!

  5. AMAZING! I love what they did with this little nook.

  6. That’s something I always wanted in my dream house…

  7. Tracey says:

    gorgeous! where did you purchase the little tulip tables from?

  8. Amanda says:

    Ryan can come to my place anytime and make me one of those babies.

  9. Francesca says:

    Sophisticated colour palette and professional results. Appreciate the tips on getting perfect mitres to ensure a high quality finish.

  10. Mary says:

    This is where I want to have my morning coffee and read my favorite design websites….enjoy your weekends relaxing here.

  11. Ellie says:

    Did this cost $1200 or $200???? Would love to know where you got the tulip tables. Fantastic design for your nook – can’t wait to do the same in my place.

  12. VRick says:

    It looks great, but would look really stunning if the wooden blinds were changed for
    white ones or plantation shutters.

  13. VRick says:

    It’s a terrific makeover but is let down by the timber window blinds. A change to white ones of plantation shutters would complete the look.

  14. Susan says:

    Love this! Especially thoughtful to slant the backs for more comfortable seating!

  15. kate says:

    Beautiful use of space. As a person that likes to build my own, whatever I can, I appreciate the excellent craftsmanship. Thank you for sharing.

  16. kate says:

    I love the wood blinds, they relate to the floor and add warmth to area.

  17. Claudia says:

    This is awesome! I am so inspired, I’ve always wanted a nook like this. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Monava says:



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